Kuala Lumpur is one of the most diverse cities in Southeast Asia. As a cultural melting pot with citizens from Asia, India, and expats from all over the world, Kuala Lumpur has a bit of everything.
What we loved most about Kuala Lumpur was the amount of contrast the city had. The downtown area is filled with modern skyscrapers and the iconic Petronas Towers, while the heart and soul of the city beats through traditional neighborhoods and markets.
Kuala Lumpur is a very livable city, and visitors will find no shortage of things to do and places to eat. Whether you’ve got two days to kill or two weeks to explore, here are some of our top recommendations in Kuala Lumpur.
Shop til You Drop at KLCC
The only city we’ve been to that beats Kuala Lumpur in shopping malls is Dubai. KLCC functions as Kuala Lumpur’s city center, and is predominantly filled with multi-story mega-malls. Though the shopping itself is great, and at bargain prices compared to other countries, be sure to also check out the food courts for some incredible meals.
Enjoy the KLCC Lake Symphony Light Show
After a long day of shopping, head outside to the KLCC fountain. Every evening a stunning water light show plays in the middle of the park and lights up the sky with stunning colors.
Take a Stroll through the Butterfly Park
Kuala Lumpur’s butterfly park is located right next to the Bird Park and Botanical Gardens. The park has over 5,000 butterflies, and is filled with exotic plants and serene scenery.
Explore the Central Market
Just outside of Chinatown sits the Central Market, an indoor shopping center with handmade goods from around Asia. It’s well worth taking a stroll through the stalls before heading over to Chinatown.
Haggle in Chinatown
Most major cities around the world have a Chinatown, and Kuala Lumpur is no exception. Travelers can wander endlessly through the rows of vendors selling clothes, trinkets, accessories, and food.
Photograph the Petronas Towers
A trip to Kuala Lumpur would be incomplete without visiting the Petronas Towers. The tallest twin towers in the world are something to marvel at, and are a night photographers dream. The views from inside the towers are just as amazing as from the outside, so take the trip up to the top if you have time.
Indulge in Street Food at Jalan Alor
The street food in Kuala Lumpur rivals top european competitors like Prague and Budapest. By far, the best place to go is the Jalan Alor evening market. The road is lined with vendors selling all kinds of authentic Malaysian and Asian cuisine, and it’s a great place to spend an evening relaxing and meeting new people.
Hike at the Batu Caves
For those who like hiking and the outdoors, the Batu Caves is the place to go. The limestone hill leads to a series of caves and temples. Near the top sites one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
Ride the Genting Cable Cars
For a scenic view, ride Kuala Lumpur’s cable cars up to the Genting Highlands. The ride takes about 15 minutes and offers stunning views of Kuala Lumpur and the highlands.
Visit the Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Temple-goers may enjoy visiting the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur. The temple is an important place of worship for those who practice Hinduism.
Take a Day Trip to Malacca City
If you’ve exhausted everything there is to do in Kuala Lumpur and want to see a piece of history, take a day trip to Malacca City. The oldest city in Malaysia has a rich history and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kuala Lumpur impressed us more than we were expecting, and has plenty to offer travelers visiting Asia. As a budget-friendly city armed with both modern and classic sites, Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit place on a trip to Southeast Asia.